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I met Wioleta Gramek, Digital Marketing/PR Specialist for Hay House, on the first day of Book Expo America (BEA) and was immediately drawn to her warm smile. When she mentioned how much book promotion is changing and that some of the things that worked a year ago aren’t working anymore, I became curious. What is working? What new things are they trying?
Here’s what Wioleta shared with me:
Lisa: What are some of the things that make it easiest to market an author’s work?
Wioleta: Already having a website which includes an email sign up page, additional valuable content, and an image of their book cover with pre-order buttons. An author should have a facebook fan page where they are already interacting with their audience, and a newsletter or periodic email where the author is providing their audience valuable information.
Wioleta: Cheryl Richardson speaks with her audience through her newsletters, Facebook and twitter. She is very active in all of her online communities, making it a point to answer Facebook posts and tweets.
Lisa: I love how much Cheryl offers to her community, though her social media and her Hay House appearances which I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. Cheryl Richardson coached me to a breakthrough in front of the whole audience in Boston. And my son and I LOVE Dave’s videos. So, those are great examples of authors connecting far and wide.
Wioleta: I’ve been at Hay House close to 3 1/2 years now. I’ve focused on marketing in the online realm in one form or another since I started working here. I worked with and managed our affiliate program, worked on the planning and implementation of our online campaigns for book launches and also dabbled in our blogger outreach.
Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to focus primarily on our blogger community with the launch of our new site: Hay House Book Nook.
Wioleta: Authors are now asked to build an audience/community early on in the publishing process, really finding and communicating with the people that resonate with their message. Although traditional media for the book can do wonders, a lot of the promotion really needs to come from the author a lot earlier than it used to.
Even though social media sites have been around for quite some time, some authors still have not set up a presence on social media sites, we encourage them to do so and coach them in the best ways to use them.
Wioleta: I came in when “partner campaigns” for non-fiction books were at their prime. Although they still have a place in non-fiction book marketing, the strategies and the expectations from all parties involved have changed quite a bit.
Lisa: What strategies are a must have?
Wioleta: Making sure to cover all of the avenues you know your audience participates in. Be it video, Facebook, newsletters, Twitter, everything centers on conversations and building yourself as a credible brand. An author can’t just speak to and sell to their audience; the conversation has to go both ways.
At this point it is very important for your audience to not only get value from purchasing your book, but also finding value in whatever other content you are willing to share. The question really becomes, how can you make your audience a part of your community and your message? “What can I give my audience that will be of value to them and how can I serve their needs?”
Wioleta: I think continuing to deepen relationships between authors and readers will still be the case in the future. As to exact strategies, there is so much continuously changing in the digital sphere that it is really hard to say what exactly will and won’t work.
Wioleta: If an author has a Facebook page or a Twitter account, they need to respond to as many questions as they can and engage their audience in actual conversations. Also, there are still authors out there who don’t have websites.
Wioleta: Start early and be of service to your audience. Connect with and support those around you both online and off, don’t use social media only to brag about your own accomplishments, share the amazing things your audience has done.
Lisa: That’s a big one. While it’s always been the case that fostering relationships builds your business, the web has turned business into a Karma club–the more good you do for others, the more it comes back to you. And you can’t afford to sit that one out, locking yourself in a room to write the book. Thank you, Wioleta. I invite readers of this blog to ask their questions of Wioleta below as a comment and feel free to share your book promotion successes as well.
Wioleta and Hay House have generously offered a free pass to 2 winners to their choice of either Speak, Write & Promote: Become a Mover & Shaker in New York City or The Writer’s Workshop in New York events. Just add your insightful comment or ask your question–the most interesting comment and question will win the tickets.
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